Despite the fact that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have been shedding their value for months, an ING survey of 15,000 people across Europe, Australia, and the US revealed that 9 percent of participants currently owned cryptocurrency, and 25 percent of people expect to own cryptocurrency in the future.
The survey also revealed that 15 percent of Europeans surveyed even said that they would be open to receiving their salary in cryptocurrency; roughly one-third of them said that they believed that cryptocurrency represented the future of both investing and online spending.
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However, it wasn’t all good news for crypto fans: one-third of survey participants said that they had never heard of cryptocurrency. On top of that, 46 percent of Europeans said that they considered cryptocurrency to be a riskier investment than stock shares; 30 percent of Europeans surveyed said that they would never own cryptocurrency at all.
There May Be ‘More Appetite’ for Cryptocurrencies Than We Thought
ING concluded that the results of the study indicate a general change in attitude towards cryptocurrency. After all, most people didn’t even know what cryptocurrency was at the beginning of 2017. Jessica Exton, a behavioral scientist at ING, wrote in her report that the study suggested that “cryptocurrency remains an abstract investment for many, but there may be more appetite for digital currencies than some might suggest.”
This ‘appetite’ could be an indicator of some hope for long-term cryptocurrency valuation on the European continent. Indeed, “based on our survey, ownership of cryptocurrencies could more than double in the future – although we do not know when,” said Exton. “…If cryptocurrency stabilises there may be increased interest.”
Volatility May Be Responsible for Increased Awareness Around Cryptocurrency
The price of Bitcoin is famously (or infamously) volatile and unpredictable, which Exton argues could be one of the reasons for the increased awareness around cryptocurrency. “The volatility of cryptocurrency carries with it both positives and negatives, on the plus side it can increase awareness but may also mean people view digital money as a relatively risky asset,” she said.
The survey seemed to indicate that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies may have particularly high appeal in countries who lack dependable and efficient financial systems. “Larger shares in lower per-capita income countries suggest they might consider investing or paying in cryptocurrency,” the report said.
Teunis Brosens, a global market economist at ING, pointed out that in contrast, “we find that the Dutch, with a very efficient and cheap domestic payment system, are most skeptical about the future of digital currencies.”